CRIME

Ashley Owens, 23, arrested in murder of 7-Mart owner Richard Nam

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Prince George’s County police announced Monday that an arrest has been made in the murder of local store owner Richard Nam.

The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Ashley Dominique Owens, of Hyattsville, Md. She is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree arson and armed robbery.

Police say Owens confessed to killing 69-year-old Richard Nam over a previous dispute and altercation she had had with him. She admitted to stabbing Nam with a box cutter and beating him with a chainsaw. She then bought gasoline and set the store on fire, police say. She also confessed to stealing more than $2,000 from the business.

Prince George's County police announced the details in a news conference at police headquarters in Palmer Park. Police say Nam and Owens were well acquainted with each other and the murder arose from a dispute. They declined to be more specific.

Nam's body was found inside his convenience store in Bladensburg in April, police say. Firefighters discovered his body after they put out the intentionally set fire.

Nam's friends in the neighborhood say they're relieved to hear the news.

“I'm very happy about it. I m glad they caught whoever killed him. He used to give people anything they wanted any time,” said Tony Barreto.

Tony Bullock approached ABC7’s Brad Bell unsoliticted to share a thought about long-time merchant Nam

“He’s a very good man. I come here to cash my check on Fridays. He’s always respectful even if I didn't have my ID he remembered me,” Bullock said.

Police said Monday surveillance videos and witness accounts helped with their investigation.

Nam’s sister-in-law was shot and killed in the same store nine years ago. Three people were convicted for her murder.

Owens is being held on $1,000,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on July 29 for a preliminary hearing.

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